WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

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WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby BrettCullum » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:50 am

Great couple of reviews up about the WATCHMEN releases. I'm surprised how much "after the fact" love this one is getting, but I think in hindsight it was one of the best releases ever based on a graphic novel. I am excited to see it hit the shelves, but that promised deluxe December edition has given me pause from running out and buying a copy. I may just NetFlix this one and then grab the better release come Christmas.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Patrick Bromley » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:32 pm

Thanks for the S.O. (that stands for shout out; I like to save time), Brett!

If you liked the movie, you should for sure at least rent the DC. I have no idea if this cut will be on the "Ultimate Edition" in December. If it's not, you could always pick this up then, because I have no idea HOW the movie's going to play with all the Black Freighter stuff inserted...but I have my doubts. This may be the best version we're going to see.

You can bet I'll be picking it up again in December, though. I really loved the movie...and, thanks to you and Bill Gibron (whose review is incredible), I know I'm not alone.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Bill Gibron » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:45 pm

Brett:

I echo Patrick's sentiments (and return his review kudos - great job PB!). I am not sure how WATCHMEN will work with the animated material added in. No matter what, it will end up being yet a THIRD version of the film, which will warrant my purchase come X-Mas time.

I have gone back to the Blu-ray twice since getting it for review, just to rewatch certain sequences. This is a truly majestic film that just gets better with each viewing.

:)

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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:30 pm

Totally with you guys in most respects, DEFINITELY the best film of 2009 thus far, with nary a sign of anything to dethrone it on the horizon.

I think, as of right now, i'm still slightly more the 300 fan (awesome review there Danno!), but that sort of cashes in on my fanboy love of all things swordy and historical and such. Not to say Watchmen isn't the better work (of that there is no doubt).

Plant me firmly in the "loved it" camp. I can honestly say there's nothing there i can pick on, which makes it better than The Dark Knight in my book.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby cdouglas » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:30 am

Steve T Power wrote:Totally with you guys in most respects, DEFINITELY the best film of 2009 thus far, with nary a sign of anything to dethrone it on the horizon.

I think, as of right now, i'm still slightly more the 300 fan (awesome review there Danno!), but that sort of cashes in on my fanboy love of all things swordy and historical and such. Not to say Watchmen isn't the better work (of that there is no doubt).

Plant me firmly in the "loved it" camp. I can honestly say there's nothing there i can pick on, which makes it better than The Dark Knight in my book.


I quite liked the film as well, though I have several minor problems with it. First and foremost, the Nixon sequences were distracting (mostly due to the actor's horrible makeup and less than convincing performance). I also thought the Tyler Bates score was generic trash that had absolutely no sense of identity. Watchmen was a superb scoring opportunity and they really blew it. I did like the song choices, though... particularly Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" in the tremendous opening sequence. Otherwise, a very fine film and a better adaptation of the novel than we had any right to expect (though there are some nuances of the book that sadly get lost in translation).
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:53 am

Also, dare I say it?: I prefer Snyder's ending to the squid/alien thing. It's narratively sound and doesn't come out of left field. Honestly, I'm sort of surprised Moore didn't think of it in the first place.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby cdouglas » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:03 am

Dan Mancini wrote:Also, dare I say it?: I prefer Snyder's ending to the squid/alien thing. It's narratively sound and doesn't come out of left field. Honestly, I'm sort of surprised Moore didn't think of it in the first place.


Agreed.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby BrettCullum » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:00 am

cdouglas wrote:the Nixon sequences were distracting (mostly due to the actor's horrible makeup and less than convincing performance). I also thought the Tyler Bates score was generic trash that had absolutely no sense of identity. Watchmen was a superb scoring opportunity and they really blew it. I did like the song choices, though... particularly Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" in the tremendous opening sequence.


The Nixon bits didn't bother me, and I found them endearing. Lord knows they could have CGI'd that one to hell and back, but instead we got traditional latex practical effect. It added a nice artifice that turned the presidential figure in to a comic book character. That is what I got anyways, that they were not playing for realism. It felt like it was on purpose, and part of the STYLE angle of the film which seemed very self-concious throughout. Snyder kinda makes his films look like fantasy at every turn.

I agree on the score versus the appropriated 80s soundtrack. I still have the preview footage set to the dour version of the SMASHING PUMPKINS song for BATMAN AND ROBIN, "The End id the Beginning is the End". Even the sneak previews were witty! The song selections were simply unbeatable and spot on. But yeah, Tyler Bates truly missed a chance to make a mock-up of several well known superhero scores and invert them on their head.

[WARNING-SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!]
I say the squid versus what hit the screen is apple and orange. Back in the Cold War the squid made sense since it was the only threat that could stop the escalation - a common enemy from space. But with today's modern sensibilities it makes more sense to have a weapon of "mass destruction" like Dr. Manhattan be a scapegoat. We like it because it fits the current era that much better, but back in 1989 or 90 I doubt it would resonate as well. I get why each one did what they did with the ending.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:56 pm

BrettCullum wrote:
[WARNING-SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!]
I say the squid versus what hit the screen is apple and orange. Back in the Cold War the squid made sense since it was the only threat that could stop the escalation - a common enemy from space. But with today's modern sensibilities it makes more sense to have a weapon of "mass destruction" like Dr. Manhattan be a scapegoat. We like it because it fits the current era that much better, but back in 1989 or 90 I doubt it would resonate as well. I get why each one did what they did with the ending.


That actually makes a hell of a lot of sense.

In all fairness to Snyder, outside of the single entity that is the giant squid, the ending pretty much resonates the same way for me in both versions. I think the knee jerk "WHERE'S THE SQUID!!!" reaction is pretty half assed myself. I honestly have nothing to complain about, which is a minor miracle.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Dimwitted » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:38 pm

I watched both Coraline and Watchmen a couple of days ago. I was more entertained by Coraline but it's WM that I keep coming back to. I don't think that it's necessarily better, but it certainly grabs you. I think that Snyder did one hell of a job on it.

One thing that no one mentions, the aging that the characters go through, from the 40's to the 80's is believable. Very realistic makeup work especially on the Comedian.

The only gripe I have and it's from the original than the movie... who or what are the Watchmen? They're obviously not "normal" but there's a really weird laissez faire attitude about it which is strange. You'd think that there'd be governmental oversite over all of them and not just Manhattan.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby BrettCullum » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:51 am

Hmmmm... who are the Watchmen?
I think in the original they explain it slightly better. Most of them were just vigilantes, sort of a BATMAN type character where they are normal humans dedicated to fighting crime in a flashy outfit. Dr. Manhattan changed the game as he was an actual "Superhero" rather than just a guy on a mission. He had powers, and that made many of the previous generation nervous and they stopped being what they were. Yet in Snyder's version they do seem more powerful - each of them. I mean look at Silk Spectre II and Night Owl duking it out with an entire prison or a street gang. But perhaps that is just good training and a talent for fighting.

Good question, but I believe we are simply to accept these people rose out normal everyday folks. Certainly most of them have no special powers... or at least they shouldn't. But the genius of the original graphic novel and the film is we sense the tension between the regular guys in masks and then someone like Manhattan who is rather godlike by comparison. It upsets the balance of power, and he's a weapon used unfairly in many respects. He loses all humanity thanks to this. And in the end, isn't that the point? The Watchmen can guard us against anything but themselves...
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Boba Fett » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:15 am

I did like that Snyder named the device that is key to the ending: Sub QUantum Intrinsic Device
"I assure you, whatever the others promise to do, when it comes to the showdown, they won't be there."
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Thirith » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:33 am

My main problem with the ending isn't the lack of squid - it's the lack of visceral impact. The death toll in the film remains largely abstract because people don't so much die as vanish. Those pages in the original book's penultimate chapter showing the devastation in NY are unmatched by the clean, clinical hole in the centre of the city. As a result, the film's ending affected me only on an intellectual level, whereas the book both hit me in the brain and in the gut, so to speak. :)
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby BrettCullum » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:31 am

Again, you're talking about different times. Back then we had no 9/11, and looking at a clinical hole in NYC with dead bodies around it was not nearly so disturbing and close to home. Snyder probably felt it would be in bad taste... ironic when he amped up all the rest of the violence to "11". Could it have been more visceral? Sure. But I think they wanted to restrain a little on the dead and decimated of the Big Apple.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Thirith » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:37 am

Artistic intention and its effect on the audience are two different things. I may understand why Snyder did what he did, but I can still think it wasn't all that effective.

I know I wasn't alone in finding the devastation of NY too clinical in Snyder's version; it's a point I've read fairly often. It doesn't help that you don't really get to know the affected characters (as you do in the book), which makes it even more emotionally remote - as does the thing you mention yourself, namely Snyder's choice to go for hyper-violence in many other scenes, so the lack of anything visceral in the destruction scene was jarring.
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Re: WATCHMEN REVIEWS! Bill's & Patrick's

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:50 am

BrettCullum wrote:Back then we had no 9/11, and looking at a clinical hole in NYC with dead bodies around it was not nearly so disturbing and close to home. Snyder probably felt it would be in bad taste...

I don't know. I found the pulse wave (or whatever) more visceral than a crater with a bunch of dead bodies if only because the energy moving toward the newsstand guy and comic book-reading kid was reminiscent of the massive dust clouds creeping down Manhattan's streets on 9/11. I thought it was pretty chilling.

If it was slightly more emotionally remote, I'd say its because the scenes with those characters had to be cut from the film, so we really don't have any connection with them.
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